Consuming grapefruit is often advised as part of healthy eating. Many weight-loss programs also promote grapefruit as a “carb-burner” which helps with weight loss. Is there any truth in this?
The active ingredient identified in grapefruit is called Naringenin : this is a natural compound (a flavenoid) found in fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, and tomatoes. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies done at a centre for Integrative Medicine in Arizona suggest that Naringenin might prevent carbohydrate absorption from the intestines, possibly reducing rapid rises in blood sugar and insulin after eating. This could have some beneficial effect on weight management and metabolic syndrome.
However, consuming grapefruit could have unwanted side effects in certain cases, due to its interaction with certain drugs, which can influence effective blood levels.
These drugs include:
• statins used for cholesterol control
• calcium channel blockers used to treat high blood pressure
• non-sedating antihistamines
• anti-anxiety drugs like Valium (diazepam), Xanor (alprazolam), Halcion (triazolam), and others
• immunosuppressive drugs used to prevent rejec tion of transplanted tissues organs
• antiviral agents used to treat HIV/AIDS
If you take any of these medications, please consult your doctor before taking a naringenin supplement or even before you increase the amount of grapefruit or grapefruit juice you eat or drink on a regular basis.